Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) saw strong trading volume on Wednesday . 14,613,307 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 169% from the previous session’s volume of 5,422,578 shares.The stock last traded at $50.78 and had previously closed at $50.96.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Mizuho reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, July 11th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Barclays PLC raised shares of Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $62.00 in a report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.32.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $53.27 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.72. The stock has a market cap of $48.46 billion and a PE ratio of 20.43.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.71 EPS. The company earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.54 billion. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Southern Co. will post $2.86 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th will be paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In related news, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total value of $773,570.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 17,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $952,235. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $2,456,827.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,998,356.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Argent Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Southern by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC now owns 268,013 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,540,000 after buying an additional 3,203 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 438,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,530,000 after buying an additional 14,133 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 759,029 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,515,000 after buying an additional 68,964 shares in the last quarter. KBC Group NV raised its position in shares of Southern by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 403,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,866,000 after buying an additional 17,719 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morningstar Investment Services LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Morningstar Investment Services LLC now owns 691,509 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,356,000 after buying an additional 46,235 shares in the last quarter.

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.

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